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Learn About Volunteering at the AFSP Ohio Chapter

2 Mar 2023 — 4 min read

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All of our chapter operations are made possible with the dedication of volunteers across Ohio. Join us in our mission to save lives and #StopSuicide!

Below is information about the different levels of volunteer engagement depending on how much time you are able and ready to give. We welcome you, whether it is just for the day or for much more! Don't forget to keep scrolling to read more about our chapter committees, whether you hope to join one now or simply learn more about everything we do here at AFSP Ohio.

Complete our online volunteer application to get started!

Levels of Engagement

Day of Event Volunteers

Sign up to help out during the day-of at a chapter event! There are numerous opportunities throughout the year to help us with events. From set up and tear down to running stations like event registration, pickup for prizes and other goodies, craft tables, and more, we need your helping hands! Our busiest time of need for day-of volunteers is in the fall during our Out of the Darkness season.

Committee Participation

If you are looking for more consistent and ongoing participation, join one of our chapter committees. Get to know fellow volunteers and chapter leaders, and share your good ideas to help us shape the future of this chapter. We have a range of committees, described below, some of which are seasonal planning committees while others are active year-round.

Chapter Leadership

Individuals with a desire for a higher level of involvement are encouraged to pursue leadership within the chapter. Chapter leaders develop and steward our strategic plan, and serve as a source of guidance and support for fellow volunteers. It is never too early to start exploring your leadership goals within the chapter!  We want to support your endeavor to become a leader in suicide prevention and encourage you to reach out about your interests! 

Chapter Committees 

The AFSP Ohio Chapter is working hard to bring suicide prevention resources to as many people as we can across the state. It is through a number of volunteer-run committees that we are able to do this work, and hope you will consider joining us! The following chapter committees are described in more detail below:

  • Community Walk Committees

  • Fundraising Committee

  • Education Committee

  • Public Policy Committee

The annual Out of the Darkness Community Walks would not be possible without the hard work of our volunteer walk chairs and planning committees. Each fall, Ohio hosts walks in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Miami Valley and North Central Ohio. These committees are a great place to start for new volunteers looking to gain a broader understanding of our role in the community. As a committee member, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Raise awareness and funds to serve our mission
  • Aide in the planning of a meaningful event that attracts thousands of local attendees
  • Recruit and support walk participants
  • Grow community & sponsor support
  • Set the groundwork for new partnerships with organizations, schools, and community leaders

Fundraising Committee

Get involved planning some of our chapter fundraising events and help us develop new ones! This committee helps to:

  • Raise awareness and funds to serve our mission
  • Support our Campus and Community Out of the Darkness Events
  • Recruit event participants and sponsors
  • Manage event logistics
  • Organize Silent Auctions
  • Apply for grants
  • Plan and organize non-walk fundraising events

Education Committee

AFSP offers a number of free education programs to the public to increase awareness and understanding of this complex health issue. Members of this committee will become trained to distribute educational materials and present our programs. Whether you learn to present a presentation, find opportunities to educate new communities, or table events, there’s a place for you on our education committee! Here are just a few ways to be involved:

Talk Saves Lives: Present our introductory suicide prevention program and its specialty modules to a range of audiences aged 18+. 

More Than Sad: Present this teen-specific program to adolescents aged 14-18, parents, and educators. Work with schools and youth-based programs to implement regular trainings. 

It's Real: College Students and Mental Health: Present  to high school seniors and college students to encourage help-seeking with this unscripted documentary and facilitated discussion. 

Gizmo’s PAWesome Guide to Mental Health: Provide a fun and exiciting atmosphere to tech children, ages 5-10, about the importance of mental health, how everyone has it, what you can do to take care of it, how to recognize when your mental health needs support, what you can do to help yourself first, and how to connect with trusted adults when you need help from others

Collaborate with schools and universities to incorporate this program into their curriculum.

Tabling: Attend a variety of community and mental health fairs to share resources and information about our work.

Public Policy Committee

Advocates looking to engage in meaningful dialogue with others about suicide prevention can apply their passion to shape changes in policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Join this committee to:

  • Learn how to engage in advocacy (no prior experience is required!)
  • Recruit Field Advocates to take advantage of easy ways to weigh in on policy issues
  • Work with chapter and national leadership to identify advocacy opportunities at various levels of governance
  • Plan, coordinate, and attend the annual State Capitol Day in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Build and maintain relationships with community leaders and elected officials to update/enact policy to enhance suicide prevention

Complete our online volunteer application to get started!

Still have questions about getting involved?

Contact us at [email protected]

Interested in committee or leadership opportunities?

Contact Ashley Wilson, Ohio Area Director, at [email protected] with details on which committee you would like to join. 

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